Colleges are getting in the Christmas spirit with the relaunch of #FestiveFEFoodbankFriday, donating items to local foodbanks facing “high demand”.
The FE sector’s foodbank drive was started by London South East Colleges during lockdown and collected 20,000 items and raised £47,000 between March and December 2020.
It has now been brought under the umbrella of the Good for Me, Good for FE volunteering campaign, which has 120 colleges signed up.
The campaign’s joint leader, Sam Parrett, LSEC’s group principal, said foodbanks are “continuing to experience high demand. Encouraging our partner colleges to support these is an important part of our campaign. Christmas is a difficult time for many, and we are delighted that so many colleges are re-launching their festive foodbanks.”
‘Vital’ colleges play leading role in helping foodbanks
Colleges will be encouraging staff and students to donate single items or create hampers for people in need.
There will be a series of other fundraising activities taking place in 50 days until Christmas to support the campaign, including Santa Dash running events and Christmas lunches for care leavers.
Parrett’s fellow joint leader, Loughborough College principal Jo Maher said it was “vital” colleges play a “leading role in helping vulnerable local families and people in need this Christmas”.
She was “pleased” the campaign was relaunching the drive, so “we can continue providing that incredible support to people who need it the most.
“It never fails to amaze me how generous and selfless staff and students in our sector are.”
Her sentiment was echoed by the campaign’s other joint leader, East Coast College principal Stuart Rimmer, who said: “It will be wonderful to see every college getting involved and using our sector’s collective power to support a happier Christmas in all our communities.”
Campaign has produced nearly £100k in social value
Good for Me, Good for FE has a goal of raising £1 million in social value – which involves colleges recording how much volunteering staff and students undertake.
This is then put through a “social value calculator” to figure out how many volunteering hours have been contributed in monetary terms to social goals, such as increasing access to employment and skills, helping the environment and growing businesses.
The campaign says, so far, nearly £100,000 of social value has been generated.